Works from Greta Garbo's art collection to auction at Christie's



2017-03-31 09:45:47

Three paintings from the collection of screen icon Greta Garbo will be offered at Christies in May, where they could bring a combined total of up to $13 million.

Greta Garbo remains one of the most iconic and enigmatic screen presences in cinema history, and was once described as "the most miraculous blend of personality the screen has ever seen".

The Swedish actress made her movie debut in 1924, and appeared in classics such as Flesh and the Devil, Anna Christie, Romance, Grand Hotel and Ninotchka.

Then in 1941, having appeared in 28 films, Garbo retired from acting completely at the age of just 35 and retreated from the limelight.

Shunning publicity, she dedicated the rest of her life to her passion for art, and assembled a remarkable collection which included painting, sculpture, works on paper and decorative art.

These works, which include the three paintings offered at Christie's, were displayed in her Manhattan residence and were largely hidden from public view for decades.

Leading the trio is Robert Delaunay’s 1913 work 'La femme à l’ombrelle ou La Parisienne', estimated at $4 - $7million; followed by Chaïm Soutine’s 'Femme à la poupée', circa 1923-1924, estimated at $3.5 - $4.5million, and Alexej von Jawlensky’s Das blasse Mädchen mit Grauen Zopfen, painted in 1916 and valued at $1 - $1.5million.

"Greta Garbo had a real love of art and paintings, and she was very passionate about certain artists and pictures," said Derek Reisfield, Greta Garbo’s great nephew.

"She was particularly enamored with these three canvases, which offer a particularly modern representation of women, especially for their time. This was a concept that that really resonated with her.

"Another factor that drove her collecting tastes was color. She was absolutely entranced by the vibrancy of the Delaunay. It was the central focal point of her living room in New York, and all of the furniture that she chose to surround the canvas played into its incredible colors.

"In essence, when we talk about Garbo we call her the first ‘modern woman,’ and I think that these three works speak to both her fundamental strength and striking aesthetic."

The Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Sale takes place in New York on May 15.

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